France in astonishing Brexit threat to UK: ‘We will defend our interests’

Ireland 'privately worried' over EU fishing stance says expert

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Clement Beaune, State Secretary for European Affairs, spoke in the French Parliament about the ongoing dispute with the UK. Mr Beaune gave a stark warning to the UK, saying France will “defend” their interests should the fishing war reach a breaking point.

He said: “If dialogue doesn’t bear fruit with the United Kingdom, we will defend our interests.

“Our objective remains the same: to ensure the agreement we signed is respected, to defend our fishers.

“We will stand by them always.”

The row over fishing has been intensifying over the past month, with French fishing industry representatives threatening to block Calais and other ports from allowing exports to the UK.

Talks between Britain, France and the European Commission have been ongoing, but a resolution seems like it will be later rather than sooner – if at all.

Former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier took aim at the UK in recent comments made about the dispute.

Mr Barnier said: “It would have been necessary to pay attention earlier to the implementation of the Brexit agreement.

“The British behave like filibusters.

“There is no good faith on their part, neither on the fisheries nor on Ireland.”

Generation Frexit leader Charles-Henri Gallois was very much offended by the comments made by the former negotiator.

Mr Gallois jumped to the defence of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his response to Mr Barnier.

He said: “The British respect the agreement, Michel Barnier!

“Accept having negotiated badly for the interests of France, because you were negotiating for the EU.

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“The government has also been incompetent in failing to see the flaw in the agreement.

“Our fishermen drink your fault!”

The fishing committee for the northern Hauts-de-France region are becoming quite angered by the negotiations between France and the UK.

The French fishermen say they are “exasperated” by the “endless months of waiting” and are ready to “exert more pressure” on the UK.

The organisation’s president, Olivier Lepretre, said on Monday: “We will hinder English interests.

“We also want to repeat to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson: your fishermen have access to European waters, we cannot see why we cannot access British waters – as was specified in the Brexit agreement.”

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